Wednesday, November 26, 2014

THE NATURE OF TRUE SELF or ATMAN por Swami Sivananda


That "essence" which is described in the Upanishads is Brahman, Atman or the Absolute. It is the source of all knowledge of the scriptures. It is the origin or the womb of everything. It is Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute. It is indivisible, all-pervading, independent, eternal and immortal. It is beyond time, space and causality. It has no beginning or end. It is the indweller of all beings. It is the witness of the activities of all minds.

 Atman is Satchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss).

Atman is Sat (eternal Existence). That which exists in the past, present and future, which has no beginning, middle and end, which is unchanging, which is not conditioned in time, space and causation, which exists during Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti, which is of the nature of one homogeneous essence (Sada Ekarasa, Sada Ekarupa) is Sat. This is found in Atman. Srutis emphatically declare: Sat only was prior to the evolution of this universe. 

Atman is Chit (Consciousness). Atman is Chit for it shines by itself unaided by any other light and illumines the whole universe by its own light.

Atman is Ananda. Ananda is that bliss which is eternal, uncaused and unexcelled. It is the real nature of Atman. We experience the bliss of Atman every day in deep sleep. It is not mere absence of pain that we experience there. It is undoubtedly positive happiness, for we remember on waking up that we slept happily. This indicates the fact of the existence of bliss to Atman in that state.

Sat, Chit and Ananda are not three distinct entities
Satchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) is only a provisional definition of Atman. Sat, Chit and Ananda are one. Atman is partless and homogeneous. The three characteristics Sat-Existence, Chit-Consciousness and Ananda-Bliss are not distinct from one another. They are coeval and coexistent with Atman. Just as water, Jal, Pani signify one and the same thing, so also Sat-Chit-Ananda signify the one Atman. Sat is Chit. Sat is Ananda. Chit is Sat. Chit is Ananda. Ananda is Sat. Ananda is Chit. You cannot split up Sat-Chit-Ananda into three separate entities, just as you cannot separate light, heat and luminosity from fire. 

Atman is distinct from the five Koshas or sheaths. The five sheaths are Annamaya Kosha (food-sheath), Pranamaya Kosha (vital sheath), Manomaya Kosha (mental sheath), Vijnanamaya Kosha (intellect-sheath) and Anandamaya Kosha (blissful sheath). 

The Annamaya Kosha forms the gross body. The Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya Koshas go to constitute the subtle or astral body or Linga Sarira. The Anandamaya Kosha forms the causal body or Karana Sarira. The five Karma Indriyas are contained in the Pranamaya Kosha. The five Jnana Indriyas are contained in the Manomaya Kosha. 

Atman or consciousness is beyond the body, mind, senses, prana or energy, emotions and thoughts. Consciousness is unattached, self-existent, self-luminous, ever present, ever free and blissful. (Atman Nityananda)

He who has realised this Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman is a liberated sage. He has nothing more to learn, has nothing more to do, has nothing more to gain. All his desires are gratified. He has obtained all worlds. He is freed from the jaws of death. He attains immortality.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014



First. We cannot speak about free will in general. Each individual is in a different level of consciousness. What is valid for one person it is not for another. For example a liberated one (such as Buddha) and a deluded one have an altogether different state of consciousness and a different ability to exercise their free will. 

Second. We must have a clear view about free will, what is free will. In my view, free will is the ability to decide in harmony with our soul which in its turn is in harmony with the universal Soul. Free will is also the ability to decide to act according to our understanding, discernment and conscience or our heart and not to act according to the mechanical compulsive egoic patterns, conditioning, egoic thoughts, desires or emotions. 

Third. The fact that thoughts arise in our mind spontaneously (without our volition) and without to know which will be the next thought that will arise in our mind, it is not a proof that we have not free will. 

We as intelligence  (buddhi), we have the ability to decide if the thoughts that manifest spontaneously, will remain or not in our mind.  Of course this capacity depends on the purity of our buddhi and chitta (subconscious mind) and the capacities of dispassion, detachment, discernment, concentration and Self-awareness.

Ιn addition we can (if we want so and if we train our mind)  feed our mind with impressions and thoughts of our conscious choice and not let the mind wander aimlessly or be drawn towards the objects of sensory desires. We can reprogram our mind by feeding it with certain ideas, impressions and sense inputs In order to compel  the mind ponder on issues that we decide (as intelligence) and not on those issues or objects that the vital ego (with its mechanical impulses, habits and patterns) wants to. It is up to us to decide what subjects we want our mind to reflect on. This ability increases by practice and discipline. 

To go a step further, we can even to decide to keep the mind still (not to think at all) if we are capable to do so. Of course this requires long time practice and steady determination. 

Fourth. When someone is identified with the vital or lower ego and its manifestations, he is a slave and a puppet of it. In this state of identification there is not talk about free will. The stronger the identification the stronger the inability to exercise our free will. 

On the other hand, when we are detached from the body, mind and emotions  and the ego itself and we are identified with our essence (Soul, Consciousness), we can exercise our free will. That means we can choose or decide to act according our deeper intelligence and in harmony with our Soul. 

Finally I want to make it clear one more time that free will doesn't mean that we have an absolute free will to do anything we want independently of our Soul and Universal Soul or God. 

The fact that the ordinary people do whatever arise in their minds considering this as free will is just ignorance. They are almost always slaves of the compulsive egoic tendencies that occupy their conscious mind and they do what the egoic impulses want; certainly this is not free will or choice. 
Deluded by the hypnotic power of the vital ego they may think (imagine) that have free choice, that they have the freedom to decide what they want to do, but this is only a delusion. The notion that they are free to decide between two desires or impulses is also false, because in this case it is the stronger desire or emotion the factor that determines what they will do. And these impulses or desires are unconscious tendencies that want to express themselves through the body mind entity.

The free will can be exercised only when we are detached from the egoic mind, when in our intelligence predominates the sattva guna and we are aligned with our Soul. 

In order to avoid be deluded by the lower ego and its innumerable identifications, tendencies, impulses, conditioning and mechanisms and exercise our free will, it is needed a great degree of purity, a high ability of Self-awareness, detachment and dispassion from the mind, thoughts emotions and impulses and a great ability of discernment to discern between the true and the false as well as strong will power . And this a matter of many years of practice and discipline.
         Peace, love and light

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I am neither Hindu nor Christian,
Neither Jew nor Hebrew,
Neither Mussalman nor Parsee,
Niether Aiyer nor Ayengar.
I am not of the East,
Iam not of the West.
I am all-pervading Immortal Soul,
I am Satchidananda Brahman,
Existence, Consciousness, Bliss Absolute. 
  -- Sri Swami Sivananda